Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy stands up as one of the greatest feats of film-making in the history of cinema.
Long believed to be impossible to be faithfully adapted from J. R. R. Tolkein's dense and lyrical text for the big screen, Jackson trimmed the fat where necessary (Tom Bombadil), beefed up the battle scenes and created a series of such quality and depth that it breathed new life into the fantasy genre. Those of us who loved Game of Thrones and the Witcher have much to be thankful for.
These films were so successful and so revolutionary that Jackson tried to recapture the magic a few years later with his trilogy of films based on Tolkein's earlier novel 'The Hobbit', but he was unable to match the majesty of his original trilogy (sound familiar?)
There has long been debate among fans as to which film is the best. Return of the King, the final part, famously swept the board at the 2004 Academy Awards, winning eleven Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The Two Towers, the second part, is celebrated for the masterful Battle of Helm's Deep sequence and opening up and expanding the world of Middle Earth for the audience.
But frankly neither film can compete with the first in the series. And here's why...